To say that I love chocolate would be the understatement of the century…Words can’t even begin to describe my relationship with that rich, smooth, brown, silky, sexy, deliciously sweet….Sorry – I’ll get a grip..
Anyway, I was craving a chocolate sundae for breakfast and this is what I came up with:
and boy was it good….
- 440g frozen bananas (This is more or less 3-4 bananas. Once a week, I buy a stash of bananas. I peel them and break them into thirds, then pop them into ziplock bags and into the freezer they go!)
- 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder (normal cocoa will also work but you may need a bit more)
- 1 teaspoon maca powder (not essential but highly recommended as it adds a delicious malty taste)
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon agave/maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- pinch salt
- 2 heaped teaspoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon agave/maple syrup/sweetener of choice
- 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I like almond milk here)
- handful of dried cranberries (optional)
- handful of cacao nibs or cacao paste (100% chocolate) chopped into small pieces (optional)
Separate the frozen banana chunks from each other and throw into your food processor along with the cacao, maca, agave, vanilla and salt. Pulse several times until banana chunks are broken into little pieces. Now process until is forms chocolate ice cream! It will take about 3-4 minutes and you will need to stop intermittently to scrape the sides down and push any remaining banana chunks under the food processor’s blades. If you like more of a soft serve consistency or if you are in a big rush, you can add a small amount (maybe 2-3 tablespoons) of non-dairy milk as you process the bananas as it speeds up the conversion into ice cream. When the texture is right, taste and tweak to your liking. I like to throw in a small handful of dried cranberries and either cacao nibs or cacao paste chopped into small chips and stir through.
To make the peanut butter sauce, simply whisk the peanut butter, agave and almond milk together.
When making this for myself, I never measure the ingredients. I just make it and taste as I go along until it is perfect. I suggest that you follow this recipe the first time that you make it just so that you know what kind of flavour you are able to achieve. After that, just play around!
Make a sundae and go to heaven..
I was never particularly a yoghurt fan, but since going vegan, I have had the occasional hankering for a nice fruit-based yoghurt as a snack or on a bowl of fruit salad or muesli for breakfast. The recipe that appealed to me the most was one by Ella, but it was not exactly the sweet fruity yoghurt that I was looking for. So I put on my thinking cap and came up with this:
And boy was I pleased:) Even my husband loved it!
Ingredients (This makes a large jar like this plus an extra cup – so in total, about 1.25 litres)
- 1/2 cup macadamia/cashew nuts (soaked overnight, then rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup almonds (soaked overnight, then rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup pitted dates (cut into pieces, then soaked in 2 cups of water overnight. DO NOT discard this soaking water)
- 2 heaped cups strawberries (fresh or frozen and feel free to use any type of berry)
- 4 tablespoons/to taste sweetener of choice (I used stevia/erythritol mixture and agave)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract/powder (optional)
- pinch salt
- extra water as needed
The night before, soak nuts in cold water in a bowl. Also, the night before, chop dates and soak them in a separate bowl in 2 cups of water. The next morning, drain the nuts and rinse them off before adding them to the blender. Then add the dates ALONG with half of its soaking water (1 cup) to the blender. Add all other ingredients except sweetener and blend for a while until completely smooth. Add date water in small amounts at a time until the desired texture is achieved. If your date water is up and you would like it runnier, add more cold water. Now taste and add sweetener until it suits your taste. If you accidentally add too much water and make it too runny, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthum/guar gum to thicken it up a bit.
Store in a glass jar in the fridge where it will last for about 5 days.
I have only made this with strawberries so far, but I am planning on making all kinds of fruity yoghurts:)
Any flavour ideas?
PS: Today (06/02/14) I made this with frozen cherries – delicious! It was just a bit runny as frozen berries keep a lot of moisture. I added 1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum and that did the trick! Perfect texture and super yummy:)
Homemade almond milk is a delicious alternative to dairy milk. It has numerous health benefits too:
- No saturated fat or cholesterol, making it good for those trying not to clog their heart arteries
- It contains good monounsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol
- It is rich in vitamen E which slows the signs of ageing and is brilliant for the skin
- It is a source of Copper, Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium
In addition – it is very easy to make. For those of you who have not used almond milk before, before using it, first give the milk jug a shake as it separates when standing. After pouring it into coffee or tea, it also separates after standing so just stir the coffee/tea every now and then before drinking. Use it as a substitute for baking instead of dairy milk.
Play around with how creamy you like your milk. If you are a full cream milk kind of person, use a ratio of 1 almonds: 2 water. If you are more of a low fat milk person, use 1 almonds: 3-4 water. If you are a fat free kind of person, use 1 almonds: 6 cups water. Personally, I use 1 almonds: 2 water for tea and 1 almonds: 4 water for baking and smoothies. I make my almond milk in the blender in a 1:2 ratio and just dilute the milk with water before adding to smoothies or using in baking.
- 1 cup raw almonds (with skin on or off – makes no difference. I buy raw almonds with the skin on because it is cheaper)
- enough water to cover the almonds to soak overnight
- 4 cups water (or your preferred amount)
Soak almonds in water overnight or for at least 4 hours. Drain water and rinse almonds off. Throw almonds along with 4 cups of fresh water into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Pour this liquid through a nut milk bag/ clean stocking into a milk jug. The pulp will stay behind in the bag/stocking and the milk will run through into your milk jug. Squeeze the milk out of the pulp until the pulp is dryish. Store the milk in your fridge for 4-5 days. Some people like to add vanilla, honey, medjool dates or a pinch of salt to their almond milk at this point before briefly blending it again. Personally, I love it just as is.
Don’t think about discarding the almond pulp! Reserve it for later use. If I don’t use it immediately, I freeze it in ziplock bags/tupperware and use it later after letting it thaw overnight in the fridge/ on the counter top. Try this or this almond pulp recipe.
This stuff is addictive….. I have always loved peanut butter, but this is now my new favourite…
The flavour is AWESOME! Plus it is full of healthy fats, very cheap to make at home and also very quick to make. It took me about 15 minutes!
- 2 cups raw, hulled sunflower seeds
- pinch of salt
- olive oil (I needed about 2 tablespoons)
- Honey if desired (I use 1-2 tablespoons for added flavour)
Put sunflower seeds onto a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 5 minutes. Remove them, give it a good stir and put back for another 2 minutes. Keep checking and stirring every two minutes. You do not want the seeds to look burnt and dark brown. They must just smell of fragrant roasted nuts and be a nice light golden colour.
When done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes or so. Then plop them into your food processor and start whizzing. You may want to pulse a but initially and then blend. It takes some time. It first makes little chips and then a powder. Keeeeep going, stopping in between so you don’t burn out your food processor and scraping down. Suddenly it will start to change texture and become pasty. At this point, while you food processor is running, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scrape down and blend again – adding another tablespoon of olive oil and scraping down as needed. The batch of seeds and how thin you like your nut butter will determine how much oil you put in. If you are adding honey, remember that honey is liquid too so keep that in mind. Taste first. If you would like, now add the honey to taste – once again while the food processor is running. Remember, the longer you process this, the smoother it becomes. You can’t over do it. At this point, some people like to put it into their blender to process even further to make it even more smooth. Personally, I love the texture of this just as is.
You can store this for a few weeks in a cupboard or the fridge. I prefer a cupboard as it becomes thicker in the fridge.
You can substitute this for peanut butter or any nut butter in any recipe. I also love dipping dried fruit into this as a snack. It is wonderful on warm toast with a dollop of honey too.
You’re going to love it!